Proposed council boundary changes: What it means for you

LIFE is all about balance.

The South Burnett Regional Council knows that all too well.

In order to keep the six different council divisions to a similar number of electoral voters, the council CEO has requested the current borders be assessed and potentially amended.

In a letter to the Minister for Local Government, Sterling Hinchliffe, council CEO Mark Pitt advised him of the current boundary imbalances.

"Council recommends minor divisional boundary changes to bring Divisions 4 into quota average and further minor changes to Divisions 5 and 6 to bring the average quota in accordance with the Local Government Act 2009," Mr Pitt wrote.

 

Screenshot from the Local Government Change Commission report showing the current and projected enrolment for the proposed electoral divisions.
A screenshot from the Local Government Change Commission report showing the current and projected enrolment for the proposed electoral divisions. Contributed

As at January 31 this year, Division 4 had 4173 enrolled voters, which is 9.81 per cent over the quota.

"It works on the equity principal," Mr Pitt said.

"If I have 5000 residents in my division and you have 2000, I have to get a lot more votes."

The review process was overseen by the Local Government Change Commission, led by electoral commissioner Pat Vidgen.

 

PROPOSED DIVISIONS: South Burnett Regional Council's proposed electoral borders.
PROPOSED DIVISIONS: South Burnett Regional Council's proposed electoral borders. Contributed

In the report, it was proposed that Division 4 should gain the suburb of Booie and a portion of Kingaroy from Division 3.

However, it would transfer a portion of Kingaroy to Division 3 and transfer the balance of Crawford and Memerambi so they were united in Division 6.

If this proposal is approved, it will bring the voters down to 3896, which is 2.53 per cent over quota.

Division 5 would pick up parts of Greenview as well as Okeden, Proston, Kinleymore, Hivesville, Mount McEuen, Keysland, Leafdale, Fairdale and Mp Creek.

This would bring voter numbers from 3521 up to 3720.

Mr Pitt said a request of change to council divisions was common practice as election time approached.

"It makes sense for them to deal with the issue now," he said.

"It is purely part of the cycle 18 months prior to election."

If the divisions change, some voters will have a new councillor.

 

EXISTING DIVISIONS: South Burnett Regional Council's existing electoral borders.
EXISTING DIVISIONS: South Burnett Regional Council's existing electoral borders. Contributed

However, Mr Pitt said regardless of who oversaw a division, councillors were available to all South Burnett residents.

"I understand some people build a relationship with their councillor," he said.

"Councillors are required to act regionally.

"I should be able to go to any councillor and have them represent my issue."

Residents are now invited to offer comments about the proposal.

Comments on the proposal are able to be submitted until 5pm on Monday, July 8 and can be lodged on the online form.